How do I decide which books to buy?

I was wandering my local Barnes and Noble on Sunday when I was asked this question. I thought about it. Then thought some more and realized I have no idea.

That’s only partially true. If I’m reading a series I’m enjoying, then I just continue. There’s the Amazon list of 100 books everyone should read. Sometimes there’s a ton of hype surrounding a book. Some are heavily recommended. And most rarely I’ll just find myself in the bookstore waiting for something to catch my eye. All this to say I have no set way of deciding which books to buy. This likely explains why I have so many books I haven’t yet read. I buy them in a moment of interest and then once the moment passes, so does my willingness to read them.

How do you decide which books to buy?

“The Hill We Climb” out today

During the inauguration of President Joe Biden Amanda Gorman just about stunned all of us with her inaugural poem. It was the first time (myself included) many had heard her name. As announced shortly after her reading, her inaugural poem is now available in book form today. Talking to someone last night I realized I don’t read poetry. But there’s no specific reason why I don’t. Amanda may just change that when a collection of her poems released later this year.

Do you have a favorite poet or poetry collection?

Not a post about books

Sometimes you just have to do something because of the hype. That was me recently when I started the series Schitt’s Creek. I remember last fall and into this year the show seemingly winning every award imaginable. So I started it a few weeks ago.

The show follows the Rose family, who has lost their entire family fortune that had grown into hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result they’re forced to relocate to a rural town they bought as a joke many years before.

I always go into new shows with an open mind. Though some I just can’t get behind. This was one of the greats. From just about the very beginning the show depicts LGBT characters as just regular people like everyone else. I can’t recall a moment during the show when I felt like someone was trying to teach me something or trying to lecture me about how I should feel about the community. This made it more genuine, in my opinion.

The Roses are not meant to be ordinary people. But the creators managed to really show growth from all of the main characters season after season. They’re different people in episode 80 than they were in episode one. For these and many more reasons, it’s a must watch and can be streamed on Netflix and Prime Video.

Amazon can sell whatever it chooses to

Last week there was a bit of “uproar” over Amazon’s decision to no longer sell certain books on its platform. Several US Senators had sent a letter requesting additional information regarding this decision. Amazon’s lengthy response stated rather clearly that the company would no longer sell books that label LGBTQ identity as mental illness.

Personally speaking, this is another great move within the book industry. Knowing books like that are being written reminds me of where we were as a society a hundred years ago when seemingly every ailment or condition was treated as a mental illness.

But that’s also not the point. The point is Amazon is a retailer. Retailers decide what they will or won’t sell on their platform. Every retailer makes this decision. So it should come as no surprise that Amazon made a decision about products listed on its site, though many would have you believe this is akin to censorship. If I own a bookstore down the street and decide to only sell romance novels or audiobooks or erotica, that’s my choice. Just like it’s Amazon’s choice here.